Food stamps keep climbing

Food stamps now cost the government $5.6 billion per month, as more and more people sign up for the benefit.

The number of Americans who use food stamps, as a percentage of the population (red bars) keeps climbing. The number unemployed, including those who are not looking for work (blue area) took another upswing, too.

As a logical consequence of the prolonged economic downturn it appears that participation in the federal food stamp program is continuing to rise.

In fact, household participation has been climbing so steadily that it has far surpassed the last peak set as a result of the immediate fallout following hurricane Katrina.

The latest data released by the Department of Agriculture shows that in July, an additional 560,873 new recipients were added to the food stamps program, an increase of 16.69% on a year-over-year basis, while household participation increased 19.53%.

Individual participation as a ratio of the overall civilian non-institutional population has increased 15.70% over the same period.

These results confirm that participation is continuing it's explosive climb, likely as a result of the jump in total unemployment, driving the nominal benefit costs up an lofty 17.19% on a year-over-year basis to $5,601,614,208 for the month.

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